Bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and very rarely do we fit perfectly into a pattern straight away. Pattern designers create patterns with a measurement chart of "standard sizes", but each size chart will vary by company. You might fit perfectly into a single size, or you might find that your individual measurements span several sizes. In the tutorial below, I will share you with how to adjust your panty patterns when your waist and hip measurements fall between two different sizes.
When the waist and hip measurements fall between two different sizes, we will need to create a new side seam and blend the two sizes together. We don't want any sharp curves or angles, but a gentle curve that will mimic the natural shape of the body.
Larger Waist and Smaller Hip
In the image below, we blend a larger size waist into a smaller size hip. Adjust both the front and back pieces, and check to make sure the shaping matches. Use the smaller hip size for the leg opening and gusset shape.
Smaller Waist and Larger Hip
Now we will adjust for a smaller waist and larger hip size. Adjust both the front and back pieces, and check to make sure the shaping matches. Use the larger hip size for the leg opening and gusset shape.
A hip curve ruler is very helpful when drawing gentle curves to blend between sizes. Here is a link to one from Wawak; I am not an affiliate, but I frequently purchase sewing supplies from them and am always happy with my shopping experience.
Other Pattern Adjustments
I hope you found this brief tutorial helpful. Below are some of my previous tutorials for altering panty patterns to get the best fit for your body shape. If there are any other fitting tutorials you'd like to see, leave me a comment below! Happy Sewing!
Fitting Underwear: Full Tummy Adjustment
Fitting Underwear: Changing the rise for a different torso length
Fitting Underwear: Help! My bum is eating my undies!
Fitting Underwear: Gusset Too Wide
Ahead of publishing my new lace boyshort pattern, I wanted to share with you a pattern alteration to help achieve the best fit in boyshorts. Do you ever find the back of the leg opening gaping at the bum? Perhaps you have a flatter bum or narrower hips than what the pattern is drafted for. Below is a simple pattern alteration to shorten the width of the leg opening to get a smoother fit.
Problem: Gaping at the bum
Excess fabric and looseness at the back leg opening
Solution: Shorten the width of the leg opening
Determine the excess amount and divide by two. For this example, let's use 1" as the excess amount; divided in two and we have 1/2".
On the pattern piece, bring in the inseam at the leg opening 1/2" on each side. You can see the new inseam and leg opening lines below drawn in red. Measure the new inseam length on each side to make sure the lengths match. Adjust if necessary.
If you are using a pattern with elastic or bands to finish the leg opening, you will need to shorten those lengths as well.
If you have any questions, or suggestions for other panty fitting tutorials, leave me a comment below. Until next time, Happy Sewing.
When I create patterns, I try to make them easy to customize not only for style but for fit as well. To get an optimal fit in the Delvine Bralette, it may be necessary to move the dart position so that it is aligned with the apex on the body.
What is the apex?
The apex is the fullest part of the bust, usually where the nipple lies. In the photo above, you can see that the dart aligns with the fullest part of the bust, and also aligns with the vertical seam on the dress form. Depending on your body shape, it may be necessary to alter the apex position on the pattern pieces.
Below is a video tutorial showing you how to determine your apex measurement and how to alter the pattern pieces. As I mention in the video, regardless of what front style you wish to use, you will need to begin with changing the pattern piece for Front A, D, E, F. Once you have changed it, you will need to copy the changes to Front B/C and any of the lace overlay pieces you wish to use.
Other Dart Questions
I have received a few other dart-related questions, so I will answer them here.
Why does the dart go past the apex?
Usually when sewing tops and dresses, we want the dart to end 1"+ away from the apex point. If the dart ended directly at the apex, that would create pointiness in the bust, which is not very flattering. On my initial sample of the Delvine, I had the dart end directly at the apex point and the shape it created was pointy and not very pretty. But having the dart end above the apex point creates a nice rounded shape.
Why are the dart legs curved?
Again, when sewing tops and dresses, we usually see straight dart legs. Curved dart legs create a shape that contours more closely to the body, and in bra-making we definitely want a close fit! The curves in the dart legs create a rounded shape that contours to the roundness of the breast.
How can I transfer the dart onto my fabric?
When I made my samples, I used transfer marking paper and a tracing wheel. But one of my testers had a brilliant idea! She printed out an extra front piece and cut out the dart area, then used that to trace the dart.
Do you have any other dart-related questions? Ask me in the comments section below. Until next time, Happy Sewing!
When I design a pattern, I try to offer four style variations. Sometimes I'll have ideas for more variations, but, for a number of reasons, I can't include them all in the pattern. When I was working on the Elodie Briefs I had more ideas for lace overlays, which will be used for a new pattern in the future, and I also had an idea for a strappy option that uses elastic along the sides instead of the side panels. The pattern was already long enough, so I decided to offer the instructions here as a pattern hack. I hope you enjoy.
I’ve already covered pattern alterations for adjusting the rise for a different torso length, which affects both the front and back rise length. But what do we do when the back rise length is good, and the front rise dips too low?
Problem: The back rise fits well, but the front rise dips too low
Christmas is almost here, and what a perfect time to use some of my luxurious and sparkly fabrics! Stretch panne velvet and gold stretch mesh are made up into a longline hack of my Iris Bralette pattern. This pattern hack is super easy, and creates such a pretty silhouette!
For the best fit on the Iris Bralette, you will want the vertical seam to fall in line with the apex.
What is the apex?
The apex is the fullest part of the bust, usually where the nipple lies. In the photo above, you can see that the vertical seam aligns with the fullest part of the bust, and also aligns with the vertical seam on the dress form.
I design lingerie sewing patterns for everyday comfort and feminine style in an inclusive size range. Fill up your underwear drawer with beautiful custom made panties in your favorite fabrics and trims, designed to fit your body.